(Reuters) - AT&T Inc has settled a nationwide lawsuit by an agency accusing it of age discrimination for refusing to rehire workers who retired from the largest phone company.
The three-year consent decree resolves a lawsuit filed in August 2009 by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The commission accused Dallas-based AT&T of having no legitimate reason for its policy not to rehire workers who retired under various retirement and severance programs, a number it estimated as exceeding 50,000.
The decree requires AT&T to consider rehiring workers who left under two retirement programs in effect between 1998 and 2001, and one related to SBC Communications Inc's purchase of the former AT&T Corp, which created the current company.
A copy of the decree was filed Tuesday with the U.S. District Court in Manhattan.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York. Editing by Robert MacMillan)